Cinnamon Raisin Bread
1 cup raisins
1 cup 1% milk
2 ½ TBSP unsalted butter
3-to-4 cups bread flour, divided
¼ cup brown sugar, packed
1 TBSP ground cinnamon
¾ tsp salt
1 packet dry active yeast (about 2 ¼ teaspoons)
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
Place the raisins in a small saucepan and cover them with water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then remove from the stove. Cover and let stand 15 minutes. Drain well.
Heat the milk over low heat in a small, heavy saucepan to between 100°F and 110°F. Remove from the heat, then add butter and stir until the butter melts.
Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Combine 2 ¾ cups flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, ¾ tsp salt, and yeast in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk.
Add the warm milk mixture and eggs to flour mixture, and stir until a soft dough forms. Add more flour, ¼ cup at a time, if necessary (you don’t want the dough to be very wet).
Add raisins. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface.
Knead until smooth and elastic (about 8 minutes), adding enough of the remaining flour, 1 TBSP at a time, to prevent the dough from sticking to hands (dough will feel tacky).
Place the dough in a large bowl coated lightly coated with canola oil, turning once to coat the top. Cover loosely with a towel and let the dough rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts. (In the winter, I like to put the bowl on top of the stove and turn the oven on to about 200˚F, since my apartment is not that warm.)
Allow the dough to rise 1 hour or until doubled in size. To test if dough is ready, gently press two fingers into dough. If the indentation remains, the dough has risen enough.
Punch the dough down, then fold the sides into the center. Cover and let rest 5 minutes.
Roll dough into a 14x7-inch rectangle on a lightly floured surface. Roll up rectangle tightly, starting with a short edge, and pressing firmly to eliminate air pockets.
Pinch the seam and the ends to seal.
Place the roll, seam-side down, in a 9x5-inch loaf pan lightly coated with canola oil. Cover and let rise 30 minutes or until doubled in size.
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Bake the dough at 350°F for 40 minutes or until the loaf is browned on the bottom and sounds hollow when tapped.
Remove from pan and cool on a wire rack.
Pairs Well With
This bread makes an excellent snack or a wonderful breakfast. It is wonderful for toasting!